Hebrews 13:1-6 “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
My Bible calls this section “General Christian Obligations” and it’s full of well known phrases. Let’s look at the first one: brotherly love. The Bible tells us we are all brothers in Christ. We should be kind to one another: not look for faults or be unsympathetic.
The next part says we should practice hospitality. The ancient world loved and honored hospitality. Back then inns were nasty places. There used to be a system called “guest friendships” where families, even if they had lost touch years before, knew if they needed to, they could stay with each other. People were always being invited in for a cup of water or a meal. I think one of the reasons people looked forward to company like this was the lack of newspapers and TV. Talking to others, telling stories and spreading news, was entertainment.
In the early church, preachers and prophets needed places to stay and Christians needed to provide those places. Christianity should still be a religion of the open door.
Next we are told to have sympathy for those in trouble. Back when this was written Christians were often in jail; for their beliefs or their debt. The early church would go into action to supply for persons in need, or if they could, get the person out of prison.
Next: purity. Respect for marriage vows. The Bible couldn’t be any more clear, could it? Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
And then contentment. One commentator wrote, “The Christian must be content with what he has. And why shouldn’t he be? For he possesses the continual presence of God!
The author of Hebrews quotes 2 great Old Testament passages to show that the man of God needs nothing more than God’s presence and help.
Joshua 1:5 “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Psalm 118:6 “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
To be content we need to thank God daily for our blessings. Keep our eyes focused on Him and not TV commercials or the Jones everyone keeps trying to keep up with!
We would do our children an enormous favor if we could help them learn to be content. None of us needs as much stuff as we have!